Give up flying?

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661-Pete
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Give up flying?

Postby 661-Pete » 6 Jul 2019, 5:48pm

Forgive me for being in one of my '661-grumpy' moments - but our return flights from S America weren't of the most salubrious.

In a restaurant, if you don't like anything on the menu, you can always walk out and try another. Not so in an aircraft: there you're a captive market. You either eat what's on offer, or eat nothing, or bring your own food (most of which will have to be bought airside) - or leap out of the aircraft (this last not recommended.... :roll: ).

So, should airlines on long-haul flights with meals provided, provide a non-meat option without having to be pre-booked?

I'd always assumed so - in fact this has always been our experience on all our previous long-haul flights in the past 20 years or so (since we gave up eating meat).

Not so Air Canada. When the stewardess blithely pronounced "Chicken or Beef?" and I replied "Is there a veggie option?", she replied "not unless you pre-ordered". Seeing as there was no choice, we took the chicken version, prising out the lump of chicken and leaving it to one side. On the next leg (different plane, different crew), we were handed a turkey and cheese sandwich. Again I asked for an alternative, with the same result. At this point, I'm afraid to say I exploded. "Don't you have vegetarians in Canada? Vegetarianism is going mainstream in the Western world, you know...." Yes it was rude of me - I admit it! We were jetlagged and not in the best of spirits! Stewardess was a bit taken aback - but then I've never had an over-fondness for air stewardesses anyway, that's my prejudice out of the way...

I did not vouchsafe the information that we're not, in fact, vegetarians, seeing as that's irrelevant.

In the end we were, rather condescendingly, handed bowls of fruit salad off the first class menu - OK that's their way of making amends.

What bugged me a bit, later on in the flight, the Chief stewardess (or whatever her rank was) came over to us and said she had to write a 'report' or something seeing as there'd been a complaint. She gave us a long lecture on how we ought to have pre-ordered - and went on with a remark that they only offered a veggie option unbooked, on flights to Delhi and Mumbai. This is utter b***ox btw, we had a veggie option on another AC flight. If you feel there's a racist element in that last remark, go ahead: I'll pass over that one. At least I was polite to her.

Question 1: am I over-reacting? Question 2: is my card now marked 'air rage'? I don't care. I hope we're through with long-haul flights - for good.

Sorry for the long rant.
Last edited by 661-Pete on 30 Jul 2019, 4:19pm, edited 1 time in total.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
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kwackers
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Re: In-flight meals and veggie options?

Postby kwackers » 6 Jul 2019, 5:56pm

From my perspective it used to be that other folk who decided they fancied the veggie option would consume them and by the time it got to me - someone who had pre-booked there'd be nothing left!
On one flight the cabin crew had a whip round through their lockers to find me some food...

These days thankfully I get my food up front so no chance of someone like Pete above stealing my food. ;)

From their perspective they can only carry so many pre-cooked meals so unless there's room for a few extra veggie options there's probably not much they can do.

Having lived through both methods I prefer the second. :D

Ben@Forest
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Re: In-flight meals and veggie options?

Postby Ben@Forest » 6 Jul 2019, 7:14pm

I'm more in agreement with the airline. South America has a high meat diet (per capita Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay are high consumers). And so are Canadians, so on an Air Canada flight from South America I'd have thought lots of meat eaters is a reasonable supposition on their part.

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661-Pete
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Re: In-flight meals and veggie options?

Postby 661-Pete » 6 Jul 2019, 7:18pm

Ben@Forest wrote:I'm more in agreement with the airline. South America has a high meat diet (per capita Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay are high consumers). And so are Canadians, so on an Air Canada flight from South America I'd have thought lots of meat eaters is a reasonable supposition on their part.
That's what I thought. But surprisingly, in our 4 days in Argentina we managed to avoid meat entirely! We even found a veggie restaurant - albeit not a very good one. And the main restos had veggie options. This was a welcome surprise to us.

But my rant mainly arose on the leg from Toronto to London.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

brynpoeth
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Re: In-flight meals and veggie options?

Postby brynpoeth » 6 Jul 2019, 7:18pm

On a plane there should be no waste, 100 people=100 meals, Plus One

I thought Pete was in south America, but he flew with Air Canada, have I missed something? :wink:
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661-Pete
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Re: In-flight meals and veggie options?

Postby 661-Pete » 6 Jul 2019, 7:26pm

brynpoeth wrote:On a plane there should be no waste, 100 people=100 meals, Plus One

I thought Pete was in south America, but he flew with Air Canada, have I missed something? :wink:
There's always plenty of waste - including masses of plastic - with airline meals. All jumbled up of course. Do they make any effort to recycle? Is this a global issue?

Don't ask me how we ended up with AC: it was an organised tour with twelve - repeat twelve - separate flights on various airlines. The long-hauls were London-Toronto, Toronto-Lima, Santiago-Toronto, Toronto-London. For some reason that was the most economical....

I wish we'd done some of the shorter legs by train - but that wasn't an option. Would have been interesting to experience the Lima-Huancayo railway: the highest outside of Tibet at 4829m. I've read that they have to carry oxygen on the train. But we had to be content with the luxurious Cusco-Machu Picchu train at a much lower altitude.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
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mjr
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Re: In-flight meals and veggie options?

Postby mjr » 6 Jul 2019, 7:43pm

Airline is correct. They shouldn't carry hundreds of spare meals just in case. Anyone with a restricted choice should book.

What annoys me is when the same meal is used for most of the restricted options in both directions on a route. I like chickpea curry but not that much!
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Re: In-flight meals and veggie options?

Postby pwa » 7 Jul 2019, 8:04am

I haven't flown for a long time but when I did I booked veggie meals for me and the Missus on a BA flight, only to be told that there were none left as they had all been given to others who had been served first but not booked their meal. We once had a similar fate at a wedding reception where the omnivores in the queue for the buffet got all the veggie options before we got to the table.

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Re: In-flight meals and veggie options?

Postby kwackers » 7 Jul 2019, 8:47am

pwa wrote:I haven't flown for a long time but when I did I booked veggie meals for me and the Missus on a BA flight, only to be told that there were none left as they had all been given to others who had been served first but not booked their meal. We once had a similar fate at a wedding reception where the omnivores in the queue for the buffet got all the veggie options before we got to the table.

That used to be my experience.
These days you get your meal first - perhaps once those that pre-booked have had theirs there are some left which can be requested.

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Si
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Re: In-flight meals and veggie options?

Postby Si » 7 Jul 2019, 9:00am

They should just serve vegan meals to all, then everyone can eat whatever is on offer. Problem solved.

Apart from those with allergies or religious needs. And those who believe they will instantly die if they forego meat for one meal.

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661-Pete
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Re: In-flight meals and veggie options?

Postby 661-Pete » 7 Jul 2019, 9:08am

I think the morals of our experience have to be:
1) Don't fly (good way of enhancing your Green credentials!). Or if you really must travel, restrict flying to the unavoidable routes.
2) Don't eat airline meals (Air Canada's commissariat - even the non-meat bits of it - were pretty disgusting anyway). Maybe at some point restrictions will be eased so that you can again carry food and drink through the x-ray...

Re pre-ordering: yes we noticed that some of the other passengers were brought their meals in advance - as much as 20 minutes before the trolleys appeared. I thought these might be special orders for dietectic needs: gluten-free, allergies, religious observance, etc. A point I'd like to make: I really don't want to be labelled as some sort of out-group, just for saying I don't want meat. That should be a given nowadays, without any 'special arrangement'. I admit that people with allergies have no choice.

Incidentally, I'm sure that airlines carry a surplus of meals anyway - seeing as they usually offer a choice even to passengers in the last row (I'm sure this has happened to me on previous flights - and I certainly have experience of the 'fishtail' row!). Perhaps the surplus goes back in the fridge, ready for the next flight! Anyone checked the USE BY date on airline meals? :roll:
Last edited by 661-Pete on 7 Jul 2019, 9:17am, edited 1 time in total.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

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661-Pete
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Re: In-flight meals and veggie options?

Postby 661-Pete » 7 Jul 2019, 9:15am

I've been googling options for crossing the Atlantic by sea. The only choice appears to be the Queen Mary II. Prices start at £969 one way (based on 2 passengers sharing cabin) meals included. That's still pretty pricey compared with flying, but not as much as I'd feared. Do they have "steerage" on this ship, like the Titanic?

TBH, I'd rather have gone down with the steerage on the Titanic, than had to endure what we've been putting up with the past few days. It's not just about the food. :evil:
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

brynpoeth
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Re: In-flight meals and veggie options?

Postby brynpoeth » 7 Jul 2019, 9:34am

Many freight ships take a few passengers
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Re: In-flight meals and veggie options?

Postby Bonefishblues » 7 Jul 2019, 9:37am

brynpoeth wrote:Many freight ships take a few passengers


https://www.cargoshipvoyages.com/
https://www.langsamreisen.de/en/freightertravel/

Were anyone so minded

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Re: In-flight meals and veggie options?

Postby Mick F » 7 Jul 2019, 10:21am

Si wrote:They should just serve vegan meals to all, then everyone can eat whatever is on offer. Problem solved.
Good idea!

I don't like being squeezed into a cigar tube with hundreds of people. In my Utopian vision of air travel, we would all be anaesthetised and lain on racks, to be resurrected at the other end of the journey. No food required, no toilets, no stewardesses. No crying and moaning children, no inane chatter. Bliss!
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